Desperate midwives have been calling for protective gear as they deal with pregnant women and births amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Midwives have made pleas on social media for industries no longer needing face masks, gloves and other personal protective gear, to donate or sell them.

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They say community-based midwives are not being provided with the necessary gear to protect themselves, mothers and babies from the spread of the coronavirus.

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"Midwives are in desperate need of protective gear," midwife Shivangi Topiwala wrote on Facebook.

"Midwives have to keep working and seeing possible at-risk families. They then go to other families and pregnant mums. We want to try and stop the spread. Please help us to help the families we care for."

She called on the dental, painting, gib-stopping, carpentry and building industries and hair and nail salons to sell or donate the gear including gowns, disposable overalls and hand sanitisers.

New Zealand College of Midwives midwifery adviser Claire MacDonald says the college is in talks with the Ministry of Health to get midwives the gear they need. Photo / Supplied
New Zealand College of Midwives midwifery adviser Claire MacDonald says the college is in talks with the Ministry of Health to get midwives the gear they need. Photo / Supplied

Another midwife, Hannah Saunders, said on Facebook midwives were on the hunt for personal protective equipment including surgical masks.

"Unfortunately we aren't supplied with these and are expected to work in the community unprotected.

"Workplaces that are non-essential may have these sitting unused for the next month.

"It's a scary position to be in, yet we want to provide the best care we can, that includes keeping ourselves safe."

The New Zealand College of Midwives was in discussions with the Ministry of Health regarding having enough protective gear.

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"The wellbeing of our midwives and of course the women they work with, remains our top priority," midwifery adviser Claire MacDonald said.

"Ensuring that midwives have the resources to do their jobs is something we are continuing to discuss with the Ministry of Health and their public health team.

"We are advised that midwives are on the essential services health worker lists and as such can expect the necessary resources to effectively carry out their work."

The Ministry of Health did not respond to questions.


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Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website